Freshman Cameron Oliver finished with a game-high 19 points, including 13 in the second half, and junior D.J. Fenner chipped with 18 points and three steals as the Nevada men’s basketball team knocked-off Alaska, 84-53, in the Wolf Pack’s final exhibition game before the beginning of the regular season next week.
Senior center AJ West collected a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds and sophomore Eric Cooper Jr. added 12 points for the Pack. Nevada did it all on both ends of the floor as it shot 45 percent from the field and held the Nanooks to a 23 percent clip from the floor.
In the first half, Fenner converted on his first two shots from beyond the arc as his second three-point trey put the Pack up 7-3. The Pack then proceeded to go on a 13-5 run that featured an impressive sequence from Oliver who swatted a shot at one end finished with a dunk on the other that put Nevada ahead 20-8.
The Pack continued to shoot well from three-point land after the dunk from Oliver as sophomore Eric Cooper Jr. knocked down a three-pointer followed by another three from freshman Lindsey Drew that made it 26-10 in favor of Nevada.
Alaska got to within 14 with a little over five minutes to play in the first half before West grabbed one of his eight defensive rebounds and was sent to the line. After West sunk both free throws, he was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the first half, Nevada forced a turnover on its next defensive possession that led to a fast break dunk by senior Marqueze Coleman that gave the Pack 34-16 lead. Fenner ended the half with a steal and a break-away layup that put made it 40-21 heading into the locker room.
Oliver came alive in the second half with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor and four rebounds. With 5:42 to play in the game, West hit 1-of-2 free throws to record his first double-double of 2015. The exclamation point in the win came on Fenner’s third steal of the evening that led to a one-handed slam and a traditional three-point play that made it 77-51 in favor of the Pack.
Head coach Eric Musselman’s squad will be back in action next Friday, Nov. 13, when Nevada takes on Coastal Carolina at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Outriggers Resorts Rainbow Classic. After facing Montana State at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, the Pack will take on Hawai’i on Nov. 17 at 1 a.m. PST on ESPN2 as part of ESPN’s Tip-off Marathon.